Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Another Day in Paradise

Monday's are supposed to be painful. That's just the way life works. But since when is that torture supposed to carry over to Tuesday.

On Monday while your friendly neighborhood Lenslinger was knee high in the judiciary of an 8 week murder trial, I myself was in lockup at another murder trial on it's first day of jury selection.

Jeffrey McFayden is on trial for the deaths of 3 women in 2003 when he allegedly crashed into the limo they were riding in and the limo burst into flame trapping them in the inferno.

Both of these trials are being heavily covered by all of the local TV Stations and the judges have allowed cameras in the courtrooms.

Over in Graham at the Greer trial the protocol for court coverage places one camera at the back of the courtroom and while one station's photog mans the camera the other stations record the video from another room.

In the Guilford County Superior Courtroom there is a private room built into the courtroom, with a small window for us to video and photograph through.

The Media Room

This room is a great idea except for a few basic flaws.

Number 1- The window is only big enough for one camera. We still have to hook up all of our recording devices and have one shooter do all the work.(OK so that's actually a good thing.)
Number 2- The door to leave the room leads into the courtroom and the judge ordered us to stay in the cell except during breaks. That pretty much makes us inmates of the Superior court for the day.
Number 3- The judge says the light in the room MUST be OFF during court. So not only are we incarcerated, we are tortured in this abysmal chamber.

The Media Room 2

So there I was, all day Monday, stuck in this dark confinement with 3 other photogs. We spent most of the day with our faces in our hands. I found myself at one point flat on the floor in a failed attempt at comfort. Occasionally one of us would get up and roll tape on a few more minutes of the painstakingly long jury selection.

Fast forward to Tuesday morning.

"Take Live 5 to Graham with Caron for the Greer Trial" spoke the Omnipotent Assignment Manager.

I gave him the shocked but 'OK, I'm on it...' look and took off to the other side of Alamance county.

greer trial

With the jury now into their second day of deliberations, us TV journalists covering the event found ourselves looking for ways to cope with the slow pace of waiting for news.


We watched as State Law Enforcers played Video Games on laptops.

We cackled as we told each other 'war stories'.

We jumped each time the balif walked to to door of the jury room.

The Climb

We fournd ourselves trying to guess the exact time the verdict would come in.

We were all wrong.

We (I) voiced displeasure at my being excused from the courtroom for wearing shorts.

Not that I was the only one in shorts. My fellow Phojo's from the big 2 (forground) and XII(big guy at the right rear) were also in shorts. Luckily the pool photog and another photog had their long pants on. I was only worried when they took their bathroom break at the same time.

Waiting for a verdict

And what about the ladies??? Women in short skirts and midriff showing shirts? I digress....

I didn't have to be inside the courtrooom on this day, but had walked into the courtroom several times over the course of the day for various reasons including technical assistance to the pool photographer. So this one time when I went in to ask my co-worker a question, the balif promptly called me down. His boss, Sheriff Terry Johnson, later told me the baliff was following the judges order of no shorts in the courtroom, but Johnson talked to the judge and all was cleared for me to head back into court if I needed to.


Like Lenslinger on the previous day, I talked blogshop with fellow J-blogger McCall Pera. What a great personality she has. McCall is a true proffessional. A dedicated and hardworking journalist. (you didn't here me say this, but, she deserves better than you know where.)

Interupting all of our 'fun', the jury came out of 'the room' several times. Each time was for a break, or lunch and finally, just to go home for the day.

Waiting for a verdict2

The deliberations will continue on Wednesday and we'll be back. It may be the same group or hopefully our co-workers. Whatever the case we will find a way to pass the time until the mayhem called post trial coverage takes over.

1 comment:

Kenneth said...

Maybe you could get some of those guys to write down those war stories and post them. Just an idea.

The Colonel